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The genetic modification of organisms is a vast industry, and the applications of the technology are exciting and far-reaching. It brings new hope for medical cures, promises to increase yields in agriculture, and has the potential to solve the world’s pollution and resource crisis. Organisms with artificially altered DNA are referred to as Genetically Modified Organisms or GMO’s.
Molecular biologists have discovered methods to change the structure of DNA in living organisms and alter the way in which the organism develops. However, the risks of using GMO’s have been the subject of considerable debate in recent times. Most experts accept that, provided GMO’s are tested carefully, the health risks to humans should be minimal from plant products, although the health risks from animal GMO’s are potentially more serious, especially when the animals are for human consumption.
The potentially huge benefits to be gained from the use of GMO’s creates enormous pressure to apply the existing technologies. However there are many concerns, including the environmental and socio-economic effects, and the problems of unregulated use. (Davey 2008: 23)